Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Last Light – Revisit the key themes in your photography to add depth and quality to your portfolio

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

I was driving home at sunset a few months ago, as the last light of 2018 faded into darkness. I had recently posted my favorite images of 2018. I stopped to photograph at an open area of grassland where I could see the bands of sunset color. Using the magic of ICM (intentional camera motion), I moved my camera back and forth horizontally, blending the land and sky into a painterly abstraction of the scene before me. I relish the uncertainty of this process, where no results look the same and are hard to predict. In near darkness, I made 73 images in 6 minutes, experimenting with various shutter speeds and speed of my camera motion. The exposure times ranged from 0.5 to 2.5 seconds.

The creative life of an artist has its cycles like the seasons, its ebbs and flows in the river of experience and ideas. I’ve learned to embrace this lifelong process, riding high when new images come readily and being patient when my vision seems stale and repetitive. If inspiration isn’t appearing, I won’t force the issue. My goal is to see the beauty around me as a daily practice, and if I stay connected to that purpose, I know the images will come sooner than later.

While developing my recent retrospective book, I naturally got thinking about the major themes in my photography. The most significant departure in my landscape photography is my “Impressions of Light” series. I had spent 20 years creating images with, and building a career using, a 4×5 view camera with the goal to represent the magic of nature with exceptional sharpness and exquisite detail.

Then about a decade ago, I began to see students of mine experimenting with intentional camera motion using a single exposure and slow shutter speed with great results. Soon I became fully immersed in the technique myself, experimenting with, and developing a portfolio of, impressionistic photographs.

As a teenager, my mother worked as a docent at the National Gallery of Art when we lived near Washington, D.C., so I often had the chance to visit the exhibits. I was captivated by the “en plein air” approach of Monet and by the pointillism of Van Gogh I viewed there. Art soon became my favorite class during my high school years. My intrigue with the Impressionist movement led to my experiments with blurred images many years later.

The motion studies seen in my “Impressions of Light” work are an extension of my core goal of depicting the beauty I discover in nature. The ICM technique removes literalness and context, and distills the essence of a subject or scene in a fresh way, much as snow or fog simplifies the landscape. This less-literal approach has great potential to convey the spirit of a place powerfully.

To evolve creatively as an artist, I have found it necessary to push myself in new directions. Success toward this goal cannot be achieved passively, but it must be sought out and consciously pursued. I have tried to adhere to the concept that, as an artist, one should always question one’s own preconceived notions.

As 2018 ended and I reviewed my photographs from the past year, I noticed that I had not made any new “Impressions” photographs. So, on that last day of the year, it seemed the right time to push myself to add new work to my portfolio. Well, those results got me revved up for another session in the same area a few days later. This time I worked on a day with ominous clouds and beams of light striking the foothill grasslands.

Progress happens one step at a time; one idea leads to another, and down the road we travel. The pathway toward elevating one’s photography is to continually add depth to those primary themes that inspire us. Creative tangents are critical to that growth but sometimes can be too random. Most of us can benefit from a more focused approach. My recent images shown here will add valuable breadth to my Impressions series. For your own creative resolutions, target your key themes to build their depth and quality level, plan shooting sessions with those targets in mind, and I’ll bet you see exciting improvements in your photography. Enjoy the ride!

Feel free to leave your comments below.

Cheers,  Bill

PS  My Impressions of Light ebook is available at my ebook store HERE.


Grasslands at sunset, Madera County, California 2018, Madera County, California 2018
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
1/2 second at f/11, ISO 100

 


Grasslands at twilight, Madera County, California 2018
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
2.50 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Grasslands and sunset, Madera County, California 2018
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
3.20 second at f/5.6, ISO 100

 


Sierra Foothills, Madera County, California 2019
Sony ILCE-7RM2, FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS,
2 second at f/32, ISO 100

Open Studio Tour coming soon! Sierra Art Trails – October 5, 6 and 7!

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

The photo above shows what my living room looks like during Sierra Art Trails.

We are very pleased to announce that we will be open again for Sierra Art Trails 2018, which is celebrating 16 years of supporting the Arts in the Yosemite Foothills! Mark your calendar for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 5th, 6th and 7th from 10 AM to 6PM. My home studio will be full of my fine art prints, books, and posters. Come visit me, and you can also visit Yosemite while in the area!

NEW BOOK

Featured this year will be my new retrospective William Neill – Photographer, a Retrospective. The first printing is now in limited supply so consider coming to my studio for your own signed copy. To learn more about the book, to read what “others are saying” see here:

 

Book Reviews
TERRA GALLERIA BOOK REVIEW
ON LANDSCAPE BOOK REVIEW
LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE BOOK REVIEW
THE ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHER

Book Essays
THE LUMINOUS LANDSCAPE
OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER


INVENTORY SALE!

Once each year, I offer discounts on a large number of prints in inventory.  The good news is that I have so many photographs, but not enough space in my office, so CLEARANCE is the key word!

I hope to see many old friends and meet new ones too!  Let me know if you think you can make it, and ask any questions if you have them. Also, please share this with friends who you think might be interested. Thanks!

See the official website for more details.
http://www.sierraarttrails.org/index.html

Cheers,  Bill

The cost of admission is $20.00 for all participating venues and includes the Sierra Art Trails Catalog, your “ticket for two” for the event. The catalog includes a list of participating artists, examples of their work, and maps to the locations of artists’ studios, galleries, and other viewing locations.  Artists are scattered throughout our mountain communities. Your catalog and map will guide you to each artist’s venue.

See the official website for more details.
http://www.sierraarttrails.org/index.html

Special Print Offer from The Ansel Adams Gallery

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

It is my pleasure to announce that The Ansel Adams Gallery is once again sponsoring a special print sale of two of my photographs, offering a 25% discount off the normal price.

Visit The Ansel Adams Gallery for more info or to purchase a print.

Clearing Storm at Dawn, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Although I generally prefer creating intimate landscape images, when presented with the classic grandeur of this scene with such epic weather and light, I naturally couldn’t resist trying to capture it. Starting before dawn, I photographed two hours of spectacular lighting and swirling clouds and felt blessed to have witnessed it!


Dogwood Blossoms and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

I have been photographing the dogwood of Yosemite Valley for 40 years. My favorite locations are along the Merced River where their branches hang gracefully over the rushing water. I love how these branches form a tapestry effect above the river’s rushing spring runoff.

 

From The Ansel Adams Gallery:
“From time to time on our website, we are thrilled to offer collectors, friends and fellow art lovers, a chance to purchase two never-before-printed images by one of our distinguished Gallery artists at a discounted price, prior to its availability within the general market place.

This month, in celebration of spring in Yosemite, we are offering two complementary images from William Neill: “Dogwood Tapestry, ” and “Clearing Spring Storm.”  While Bill’s original prints normally sell in these sizes up to $450, you can now add one to your private collection for 25% off the initial retail price.  Each photograph is made by Mr. Neill in his studio, printed to current archival standards, signed, as well as mounted, matted and ready for framing.  The time to purchase will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Monday, May 14th and will expire upon the close of business, Sunday, May 20th at 6:00 PM. Once the offer has expired, we anticipate an order fulfillment time of approximately four to six weeks to ensure the quality of each individual order.  This inaugural printing offer is available for a very limited time, after which, the print will return to full price.  

Email our curator, Evan Russel, at evan@anseladams.com if you have any additional questions about the prints or shipping.”

My Favorite Photographs of 2017

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada. It is that time of year again when we all look back at the events of that last year, and look forward to the year ahead. Many photographers have developed the good habit of editing a collection of their favorite images for the year. The process of self-assessment is a vital part of artistic growth. In the day-to-day rush of life, we don’t often stop to see trends in our own image-making. By turning back the clock, we can see if we’re stuck in a rut or are hopefully making great progress.

I have included capture details, date and time of exposure, in chronological order. I hope you will visit my blog and add your comments or favorites at the bottom of the page.

May 2018 brings you joy, peace, and exciting photographic opportunities.

Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!   Bill

Best of 2014
Best of 2015

Best of 2016

 

Here is the link to my Outdoor Photographer Magazine essay on the subject from 2010:
Best Of The Year
An annual review of your images can point you in new directions of creativity
By William Neill | March 30, 2010

 


Oaks in Snowstorm, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/15 second at f/22, ISO 6400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Oak Branches, spring, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
1/160 second at f/13, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Purple Plum Blossoms, spring, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/20 second at f/14, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood in Bloom over the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood in Bloom, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/100 second at f/13, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Maple Leaves and Granite Boulder, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/13 second at f/18, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Salsify Seeds at Sunset, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/160 second at f/2.5, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Salsify Seeds at Sunset #2, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/125 second at f/2.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Two Datura Blossoms, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Pier Reflections, Pismo Beach, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
6 second at f/25, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Boulders and surf, Carpenteria, CA 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
6 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Evening Clouds, Ahwahnee, California 2017
PureShot for Apple iPhone 6s plus, iPhone 6s Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2,
1/300 second at f/2.2, ISO 25
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sunset Clouds, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/1 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sunset Clouds #2, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/40 second at f/6.3, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Grasses. Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/8 second at f/13, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Shells, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 

ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Nautilus Shell 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/10 second at f/22, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Two Nautilus Shells 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/14, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Two Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Two Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Autumn Maple Leaves and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1.30 second at f/25, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Autumn Maple Leaves over the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/4 second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1.60 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Cottonwood Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves #2, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Braken Fern, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/18, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Chinese Pistache Leaves #2, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Chinese Pistache Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Autumn Oaks, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/6 second at f/11, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Pebbles, Pine Needles and Oak Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Ice, Pine Needles and Oak Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 

Featured Portfolio and Interview in LensWork

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

William Neill presents photographs that go far beyond mere “pretty pictures.” His work reminds us of our deep connection with the planet, inspires us to seek the beauty of nature for ourselves, and encourages us to see with greater intimacy the beauty that surrounds us wherever nature flourishes.    -Brooks Jensen, Lenswork Magazine

I am honored to be featured in LensWork’s November/December issue. The portfolio, entitled Sanctuary in Stone-Yosemite Winter, contains twenty photographs ranging from 4×5 exposures made in the early 1980s or digital captures made this year.

There are three versions of LensWork are available for purchase -the printed version, the tablet version and the computer version: http://shop.lenswork.com/LensWork-133-Tablet-Edition-33-mb_…

If you are not familiar with Brooks Jensen’s podcast, I highly recommend it: http://apple.co/2zz6i3V

BOOK UPDATE: For those of you that purchased my retrospective book, you may be wondering where it is! Well, the latest news is that, due to an unforeseen issue, the book should be shipping to you in early December. Thanks so much for your purchase, and for your patience. I am certain that the long wait will be worth it.

In parting, I’d like to share with you an endorsement for my book by my friend Dewitt Jones. I am honored and humbled by his kind words:

William Neill is one of the great landscape photographers of the last hundred years. His images – stunning, haunting, breathtaking, poetic – speak for themselves. There are no words necessary, just admiration. Through, in his own words, “observation and immersion” he has seen and recorded the beauty of the planet. But, more than that, he had captured its spirit. Again and again he shows us “the thread which holds all things together”. This book is an instant classic; truly one for the ages.   – Dewitt Jones

Below are a few sample photographs in the portfolio.  Enjoy!